Magazine article School Arts

Fall into Symmetry

Magazine article School Arts

Fall into Symmetry

Article excerpt

When our elementary school considered creating a website, we envisioned it to be more of a teaching tool than an informational site. With that in mind, the idea for the "Art Room" was designed to address the elements of art by providing visitors to the site with lesson summaries, accompanied by student artwork. One such posting on "Art Room" was the fourth grade interdisciplinary lesson on texture and symmetry described in this article.

The Science Component

We discussed autumn and the many environmental and visual changes that take place with the arrival of colder weather. The transformation of leaves is the most significant visual, as well as chemical, event. As we gathered leaves, we continued to discuss why and how leaves change color. We summarized that in the fall, as colder weather sets in, the trees' food-gathering process slows down as sunlight and water source grow scarce. This causes the Chlorophyll stored in leaves to break down. The green fades and reveals the colors that have always been present but hidden.

The Art Component

We spread out our collection of leaves on the table and discussed differences in shapes, textures, and colors. We also discussed the one physical attribute that they all share--symmetry. On the chalkboard, I illustrated the difference between bilateral and radial symmetry.

I introduced the art problem as a challenge to create an autumn collage from leaf shapes created from imagination. To ensure understanding of symmetry, students demonstrated with classmates the folded-paper technique where a leaf is half-drawn on the fold. …

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